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Researcher Gives Apple Details of macOS Keychain Security Flaw Despite No Mac Bug Bounty Program

A German teenager who discovered a macOS Keychain security flaw last month has now shared the details with Apple, after having initially refused to hand them over because of the company's lack of a bug bounty program for the Mac.


Eighteen-year-old Linus Henze dubbed the zero-day macOS vulnerability he found "KeySteal," which, as demoed in the video above, can be used to disclose all sensitive data stored in the Keychain app.

Henze said he decided to reveal the details to Apple because the bug "is very critical and because the security of macOS users is important to me."


After Henze released the video in early February, Apple's security team reached out to him, but the researcher said he wouldn't disclose the details without a cash reward, arguing that discovering the vulnerabilities takes time.

"Even if it looks like I'm doing this just for money, this is not my motivation at all in this case," said Henze. "My motivation is to get Apple to create a bug bounty program. I think that this is the best for both Apple and Researchers."

Apple has a reward program for iOS that provides money to those who discover bugs, but there is no similar payment system for macOS bugs.



Top Rated Comments

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20 weeks ago
He probably cares more about the Mac OS as platform than Apple do
Rating: 71 Votes
20 weeks ago
He probably cares about Mac OS as platform, and wants to see bugs fixed.


Thank you, Linus.


Now, Apple, listen to the people, and start bug bounty program.
Rating: 68 Votes
20 weeks ago
Get a bounty program for Macs. This is not a good look for Apple. There's no reason to have a program for iOS and not MacOS.
Rating: 33 Votes
20 weeks ago
I can't really imagine a way for blaming him and his behaviour, but I'm sure this forum won't let me disappointed
Rating: 28 Votes
20 weeks ago

It’s great that Apple values our privacy, but the lack of security makes all that effort pretty much useless. I think we’ve seen more critical security bugs from Apple than from any other major company.


I'm sorry but this is just BS. I used to support Windows environments for a living, what you see on Mac is literally nothing compared to what you see on Windows.
Rating: 22 Votes
20 weeks ago
Maybe there is too many bugs in MacOS that Tim would lose to much money on the deal...
Rating: 18 Votes
20 weeks ago
First, thank you Linus for sharing the info with Apple.

I can only think of 2 reasons whey Apple wouldn't have a bounty program for Mac OS security flaws (neither makes Apple look good).
1) Apple doesn't care enough about Mac OS to pay a bounty for finding security flaws or
2) Apple is afraid of what the bounty program would cost.

I really hope there is a different, actual reason they don't have a bounty program but I can't think of what it would be.
Rating: 15 Votes
20 weeks ago
A Google's Project Zero researcher also found a copy-on-write (COW) ('https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copy-on-write') flaw in the MacOS kernel, that they just released publicly, because it us over 90 days since they notified Apple.
Rating: 15 Votes
20 weeks ago
Apple doesn't care because Mac OS is the Apple ][ of 2018. Eventually, Apple will just sell IOS devices. They are clearly headed in this direction. :(
Rating: 13 Votes
20 weeks ago
It’s great that Apple values our privacy, but the lack of security makes all that effort pretty much useless. I think we’ve seen more critical security bugs from Apple than from any other major company.
Rating: 12 Votes

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